Experiencing first hand the benefits of focusing on her breathing led Aigul Safiullina to give up her job as an events organiser and start in the wellness industry with a focus on breathwork.
What’s your story?
I used to work in a quite fast paced and stressful environment, organizing events and having an active social life. The decision to become a certified breathwork coach came about spontaneously when I was running Moontrekker (the overnight trail race in Lantau) in a pair with my friend Claire Mordret a couple of years ago. Despite all the prior training, I felt exhausted too soon and not in the mood to run 30km. Claire did her best to motivate me but nothing helped and I was about to quit. At some point, she asked me to focus on a specific sequence of breathing and to not think of anything else – I had had a stressful week at my previous job, my relationship was getting worse and my self-confidence was hitting the lowest levels. So I focused on that breathing pattern and started feeling better and even energized. When we crossed the finish line at Cheung Sha beach, we discovered that we had become female pair champions. I made many decisions that night, and becoming a breathwork coach was one of them.
What excites you most about your industry?
Breathwork is still a relatively new part of the wellness industry and I am excited to see so many untapped opportunities here! I’ve seen so many transformations in people just after the initial breathwork sessions. And the more people pay attention to their health & wellbeing, the more improvements they can make in all other aspects of their lives.
What is your connection to Asia?
I’m Russian and that makes me at least half-Asian 🙂
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Hong Kong! It’s like a small village for networking but with all the accoutrements for the modern lifestyle. Opening a company is extremely easy and the business community is very open and supportive.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Surround yourself by the people who lift you up and inspire you.
Who inspires you?
There are lots of people who inspire me for different reasons. But when it comes down to 1-2 individuals, it’s definitely my parents, both medical doctors who’ve saved thousands of lives and gave me all the tools to become who I am now.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Every single morning blows me away as I am lucky to be alive and awake
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Have more faith in myself.
How do you unwind?
Breathwork practice and trail running.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. Being around people I love and that love me makes me relax. Also I love hot saunas in winter and jumping into snow.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Big Leap by Gay Hendriks
Shameless plug for your business:
Our breath is directly connected to each and every function in our body. The way we breathe affects our endocrine, digestive, nervous, and immune systems to name a few! Breathing is the main connector between our body, mind, and soul. Let me guide you in your journey to better stress management, optimal performance & a healthier lifestyle.
I offer 1:1 & group classes, corporate wellness and 6-week programs at beginner and advanced levels, as well as special limited edition sessions of breathwork for runners and more!
How can people connect with you?
Best way is to check out my website: www.respira-breathwork.com
Social Media Links?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.